Capacity Profile: Aggregation of a Small Sample

The Leadership Capacity Profile Questionnaire is a self-assessment tool for librarians to tune the focus on their leadership capacity and development priorities. The summary of data from librarians who filled out the questionnaire can show us an aggregated picture, and also give individual librarians a frame of reference to look at their own’s profiles.

Here I summarize the questionnaire data collected so far, to illustrate what an aggregated capacity profile may look like.

The Profile with a High Self-rating

In this sample, the average self-rating of all capacity elements is 3.9, which is above the “average-mark” of 3. ¬†Perhaps it was because the majority of the respondents were directors or heads of units in libraries. The capacity elements are plotted in the following matrix: the horizontal scale is the importance, and the vertical one is the self-rating. The chart is divided into 4 sectors by two lines, marking the average importance rating (4.2) and the average self-rating (3.9)

The 4 leadership roles are labelled in green for easy spotting. Respondents added 2 interesting leadership roles that are not in the capacity model in the questionnaire:

  • Resource explorer
  • Strategist and advocator

What draw my attention in this matrix are the three points that I marked red:

  • “Communication Skills” stands out as the most important element; yet, the self-rating is slightly below the sample average. This is quite consistent with what I observed in my work so far.
  • “Self Confidence/Self Efficacy” is rated rather high in importance, but the self-rating is among the lowest.
  • Similarly, “Leader Identity” is above the average importance mark, and it is the lowest in self-rating. Perhaps these two elements deserve more attention by librarians and library managers.

Note though, those “low” ratings are relative. All overall scores are above 3. For reference, the scales in the questionnaire are:

  • Importance Scale: Extremely important (5) | Very important (4) | Moderately important (3) | Slightly important (2) | Not at all important (1)
  • Self-Rating Scale: Very strong (5) | Strong (4) | Average (3) | Weak (2) | Very weak (1)

The Most “Wanted” and “Needed” Capacity Elements

The capacity elements that most respondents wanted to develop are Change Management and Strategic Planning; while the most-needed ones are Communication Skills, Emotional Resilience and Leader Identity.

The Sample


This initial sample consists of librarians from Asia, USA and Australia. Most of them work in academic libraries.

A Summary

The charts aim to illustrate how the capacity profile questionnaire data can be aggregated to show an overall picture of librarians’ perception on leadership capacity and development priorities. The current sample is very small to make any projection meaningful.

After all, the primary purpose of the questionnaire is for librarians to make self-assessment as individuals or as groups. The aggregate picture can provide a overall reference frame for individuals to make sense out of one’s own profile.

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